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Article about using arm, not wrist on rolls

Pat A Flafla

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For decades people have looked at me like my eyes are glowing red when I told them rolls work best with no wrist--even other drumline instructors with at least one music degree. The thing is, it's not even really a weird idea or a secret. Watch excellent orchestral snare drummers and you'll see arm rolls. So I was glad to see that Dr. Buyer from Clemson recently wrote this excellent article for Yamaha, because now I can just point people to it when they seem to think I'm the drummer version of a flat earther or something. Rolls really do sound better with arm!


Not mentioned in the article is how legato-stroke-style stroke preparation can kill a roll's quality even before the stroke. If the wrist bends and the fingers come out away from the palm on the prep, the fingers are likely to move in towards the palm and defeat the rebound.

Anyway, this is a very nice article for people interested in better rolls.
 

Matched Gripper

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For decades people have looked at me like my eyes are glowing red when I told them rolls work best with no wrist--even other drumline instructors with at least one music degree. The thing is, it's not even really a weird idea or a secret. Watch excellent orchestral snare drummers and you'll see arm rolls. So I was glad to see that Dr. Buyer from Clemson recently wrote this excellent article for Yamaha, because now I can just point people to it when they seem to think I'm the drummer version of a flat earther or something. Rolls really do sound better with arm!


Not mentioned in the article is how legato-stroke-style stroke preparation can kill a roll's quality even before the stroke. If the wrist bends and the fingers come out away from the palm on the prep, the fingers are likely to move in towards the palm and defeat the rebound.

Anyway, this is a very nice article for people interested in better rolls.
Bill Bachman has a video that was up on YouTube in which he provides an in depth description of the 3 different techniques to execute rolls for 3 tempo ranges. At the fastest tempo he pumps his forearms up and down with a minimal finger technique. His rolls are amazing to say the least. That video seems to have been taken down.

Here's a video from Pasic that I posted a few years ago where he gives a short explanation of the 3 tempos of doubles starting at about 6:35. He puts all 3 techniques together at about 9:25:


Here’s part 2 of the Pasic demo where he starts with a triple stroke roll:


Part 3:

 
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Ludwigboy

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Coming from one who has had trouble producing good rolls, both postings above are very helpful...thank you!
 

Rock Salad

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Wow, that way is hard! Sounds great though, gotta work on it a bit and see if it comes together
Thanks for sharing
 

mtarrani

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I am sure that is a viable approach. There is a "However" though. According to folks who knew him Billy Gladstone appeared to not be moving at all when he was playing. Joe Morello once said of Gladstone, "Imagine Buddy Rich only twice as fast and twice as smooth." I have also watched videos that captured Papa Jo Jones doing rolls and it was all wrist and as smooth as tearing paper.

That said, thanks for posting those because I am going to see what I can glean (steal) and woodshed ... and adopt.
 

Matched Gripper

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I am sure that is a viable approach. There is a "However" though. According to folks who knew him Billy Gladstone appeared to not be moving at all when he was playing. Joe Morello once said of Gladstone, "Imagine Buddy Rich only twice as fast and twice as smooth." I have also watched videos that captured Papa Jo Jones doing rolls and it was all wrist and as smooth as tearing paper.

That said, thanks for posting those because I am going to see what I can glean (steal) and woodshed ... and adopt.
Apples and oranges! The Gladstone technique you are referring to is finger technique for single strokes not double strokes.
 

multijd

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I totally agree with an arm approach to rolls. Jim Chapin would communicate this concept at his brief PASIC pad lessons.
 

Matched Gripper

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I am sure that is a viable approach. There is a "However" though. According to folks who knew him Billy Gladstone appeared to not be moving at all when he was playing. Joe Morello once said of Gladstone, "Imagine Buddy Rich only twice as fast and twice as smooth." I have also watched videos that captured Papa Jo Jones doing rolls and it was all wrist and as smooth as tearing paper.

That said, thanks for posting those because I am going to see what I can glean (steal) and woodshed ... and adopt.
Forgot about your last paragraph. Check out this video. It’s the middle section of the longer video that was taken down. It’s a 30 minute workout of the “middle” tempo technique which is the most important, IMO, because it’s applicable to almost all the rudiments. The whole video (that was taken down), goes through all 3 tempos and techniques and includes more technical explanation.

FYI, for slow tempos, he uses two full free strokes. For middle tempos, he uses a free stroke for the first stroke and a down stroke for the second stroke. In the free stroke, the stick bounces up and opens the fingers. In the down stroke the fingers snap shut and the stick stays down. In this middle tempo workout, he uses inverted doubles, what he calls “inverted shot diddles,” like this: Rll rRll rRll rRll and then Lrr lLrr lLrr lLrr (caps are rimshots), designed to strengthen the second stroke of your double stroke roll.

If you try to do the whole workout with all free strokes you’ll never make it. You have to use the free stroke/down stroke technique. It will take some time and practice to get the coordination down. Good luck!

 


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